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Son of a King

Summary:
When women begin showing up dead all across Toronto with distinctive puncture wounds on their necks, Vicki Nelson, PI, is on the job – along with her 450-year-old vampire partner. But if he’s not behind the attacks – who is? A strange, young couple new to the city could hold the key to discovering the truth. Handling two kinds of vampires was hard enough. Just how many different sorts were there? Second story in the “Different Sorts” series FINAL CHAPTER -- NOW POSTED!


Notes:
ATTENTION READERS: DO NOT STEAL MY STORIES. Someone has stolen some of my stories from this website and posted them as their own on fanfiction.net. It is plaigarism, it is stealing and it is illegal. Read, enjoy -- but don't steal. Second story in the “Different Sorts” series -- takes place after "Different Sorts." Crossover with Buffy and the new “Blood Ties” series on Lifetime. Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.


10. Chapter 10

Rating 4/5   Word Count 4763   Review this Chapter



* * *

They watched from the shadows of the Red Light district as Mr. Pinstripe selected his final victim. A perky bottle-blonde with dark roots. She was dressed completely in black vinyl – corset top, hot pants, fishnets and thigh-high boots. She giggled, teased her hair and caressed Mr. Pinstripe as he led her down the alleyway.

After a few minutes, Buffy led her army out of the shadows and across the street. They were an unusual sight on the streets of Toronto: ten people armed with swords, stakes, crossbows and a scythe. But Buffy paid no attention to the staring hookers and Johns. She was on a mission and, obediently, her army followed. She continued down the alley and towards the sewer entrance that she’d crept down just a few days earlier. She was not particularly stealthy as they walked through the shadows – but Buffy and her soldiers were quiet. Especially so once they were in the sewer.

Buffy led them towards the vampires’ nest. She slowed when she heard their voices – a noisy, ruckus filtering through the vents and grating. The crowd below was growing more restless by the minute, she could tell just from the sounds they made. Buffy held up her hand, telling the others to stop. She crouched low by an open vent and peered down at the ritual – the source of her nightmares. Buffy saw tonight’s hooker strapped to a table below; she was still alive. Her mouth was gagged, but her eyes were open wide with terror. Buffy could tell from the puncture wounds on her neck that she’d been bitten, but clearly not drained. Several corked vials of blood stood neatly in a row by her head.

The crowd of vampires was gathered around her like a greedy, hungry brood. In the space closest to the table on one side was Mr. Pinstripe, gleefully rubbing his hands together. On the other side was an older vampire, the one who’d chastised Pinstripes for not getting the job done properly the night Buffy had interrupted. His thin, bony fingers – translucently pale – caressed the bottle blonde’s face. She trembled in fright at his touch, but the vampire crone didn’t seem to notice. He hoisted up a book and began to recite words Buffy didn’t recognize; most likely it was an ancient demon language. Buffy looked behind her and saw from her face that Willow recognized the words; the witch was well-versed in demon dialects. This was, indeed, the ritual Willow had researched. At least they’d gotten that right.

Buffy turned back to the ritual below. As the crone recited the demon phrases, Mr. Pinstripe pulled back the hooker’s gag. He stroked her forehead, keeping her silent – even as she trembled. As she gazed up at him, Mr. Pinstripe lifted up one of the vials of blood. He pulled the cork out with his teeth and spat it away, then held the glass up to her lips and poured. The blonde choked and gagged, but the vampire held her head down forcefully and so the blood ran down her throat. She sputtered and tears formed in her eyes, as Mr. Pinstripe brought the second vial to her lips. Her body began to convulse, but the vampire just held her down more vehemently.

Buffy cringed, but could not tear her eyes away. She knew what was coming – Willow had explained it several times over the last three days. The vampires would force the final sacrifice to drink the blood of the previous victims. But the blood was tainted; it had been taken from the women by the vampire’s bite and so it was impure. It would basically kill her. But the blood of the others would keep the body alive long enough for the First to inhabit it. He would take over the dead girl’s body and use the blood of the other sacrifices to live. But the First would be in the girl’s body – her actual body, not just her form. He’d be corporeal and mortal. That was the key; that was what gave Buffy a chance to kill him and defeat the First once and for all.

The hooker’s body convulsed more powerfully with each vial. After Mr. Pinstripe had poured the last vial down her throat, he let go and stepped away. Her arms and legs flailed madly and her chest pressed wildly against the ropes – but they held her firmly to the table. And then, suddenly, she went still. The room was silent, but for the dripping of the sewer pipes. It seemed to drag on forever, but just as suddenly, the hooker opened her eyes and mouth wide and gasped loudly, her head rising from the table. Then she settled back down and sighed, smiling happily.

“Well … isn’t this new …” she said.

Above, Buffy’s eyes grew wide. It was not a surprise what had happened down below … but still, it was shocking. The words came out of the hooker’s mouth in the woman’s voice … but the tone … it was not the hooker’s tone. It was the First’s.

The vampire crone closed the book and took a step forward. After a second, Mr. Pinstripe also stepped back to the table. They untied the knots of the rope and the First sat up, brushing invisible dust from her arms. She hopped off the table and walked around the table, relishing in the feeling of a corporeal body.

“This is truly a remarkable feeling,” she said. “Although … couldn’t you have found me something else to where. Just because you used hookers doesn’t mean I have to look like one …” Her eyes chastised the crowd of vampires.

“I apologize,” Mr. Pinstripes said, bowing his head. “We shall make amends as soon as possible.”

“I hope so,” she said. “When I take over the world and stamp out all that is good, I don’t want to look like a whore.”

“Too bad you’ll look like a whore when I kill you.” Buffy smiled deviously, holding the scythe in both hands, as every vampire in the room turned to look at her. She stood in the open vent. “What?” she said, acting innocent. “Wasn’t I invited?”

“Kill her,” the First said.

“Oh my, whatever will I do with a room full of vampires?” Buffy said with mock fear. Then she grinned, as her army came to her side. “Good thing I brought a team of highly-trained vampire killers with me.”

Buffy leapt down from the open vent and into the vampire’s nest, swinging her scythe in a wide arch – taking out several vamps right away. Quickly, the undead crowd reassembled for battle – splitting up into groups meant to attack each member of the Slayer’s Army. It’s true, the Slayer’s troops were well armed – but they were also outnumbered about ten to one.

As the vampires split up, so did Buffy’s Army – just as they’d discussed previously. It was all part of their battle plan. Buffy moved deftly towards the back of the room, where the First was waiting – swinging her scythe at any vampire that came near her. Angel was close by, ready to meet Mr. Pinstripe and the crone in hand-to-hand combat. The others broke off into pairs – Willow and Xander, since they had fought together so often in the past; Bella and Edward (an obvious match); Henry and Vicki; and Spike went with Mike – so that the mortals newest to fighting vampires had some immortal backup.

Willow and Xander were the weakest team physically – both humans with no extraordinary powers (unless you counted witchy Wiccan power), but besides Buffy and Angel, they were the most well-trained in the bunch. They’d been fighting with Buffy since high school – for most of her life as a Slayer. They’d seen several apocalypses by her side. So when they fought a group of a dozen vampires, they moved with a natural rhythm. If anyone had stopped to watch, it would have looked almost like a choreographed dance – with weapons. Stake, slice, crossbow. Kick, punch, throw, swing around – stake, slice, crossbow. A deathly, vampiric waltz.

In the three years they’d been slaying vampires, Bella and Edward had also begun to develop a rhythm. But rather than fighting the vampires as a single unit – as Willow and Xander where – they worked individually – and mostly with swords. Bella, especially, had developed quite a knack for swordplay and swung it through the air, deftly slicing off three vampires’ heads without much effort at all. She ran into trouble, however, when three more vampires ganged up on her. One of them had found a broken piece of rusty pipe – it was about an inch thick, with jagged ends, and about three feet long. As Bella was using her sword to fight off the other two, the third vampire lunged at her with the broken pipe – running her through the gut and pinning her to the wall.

“Hey!” she said, gasping with shock. “That hurt …”

And it did hurt. She was a vampire, but the pain surprised her. She felt icy tears forming in her eyes and began to hyperventilate … she didn’t need the air, but her lungs reacted instinctively.

“Edward?” she said, her voice sounding hurt and confused.

He finished staking the vampire he’d been fighting, and spun around at the sound of Bella’s voice. When he saw her he dropped his sword and his stake and was instantly at her side, caressing her cheek. “Bella?”

She gasped again and squeezed her eyes shut in pain. “Edward, please … it hurts.” She bit her lip, tears spilling over.

Edward kissed her lips feverishly, then stepped back and gripped the pipe. When he had it firmly in his hands, he paused and looked up at Bella one more time. “This is going to hurt.” She nodded and he yanked it out, cringing when Bella screamed. As soon as the pipe was out of her abdomen, she collapsed to the floor.

Edward knelt at her side, clutching her head in both his hands, forcing her to look at him. “Bella, Bella … Bella – look at me!”

“Edward,” she said, gasping still – but less vehemently. “I’ll be okay … you have to keep fighting them.”

“No,” he said. “I won’t leave you.”

“Edward.” Her voice was firm. She pointed to her wound. “This won’t kill me … but you have to keep fighting them. It’s why we’re here … to help Buffy.”

“To help Buffy,” he said, screwing his courage. He nodded. “Okay.” He held Bella’s head a moment longer, kissed her fiercely, then spun around. He took a step forward, scooping up his sword and Bella’s sword in either hand – then moved into the foray, swinging madly – now slaying the vampires more vehemently then ever. This wasn’t just war anymore; this was revenge.

* * *

Mike was a sure-shot when he had a gun in his hands, but when it came to stakes, swords and crossbows he was rather clumsy. It was fortunate that Spike was by his side, deftly stopping several potentially fatal blows and finishing off the vamps that Mike failed to properly stake. Still, when Mike successfully staked his first vamp through the heart (it took several tries), he laughed and grinned. He looked up at Spike, smiling look a fool.

Spike sliced off another vampire’s head and turned back to him. “Hey, good job mate,” he said, smiling. Then he ducked a punch and staked another vampire lunging for him. “You get a gold star.”

Mike grinned again, pleased with himself, then shrieked in pain as a vampire snuck up on him and slashed his calf with a dagger. Mike’s leg crumpled beneath him, and as he fell to his knees, he swung his sword angrily and took off the offending vampire’s head.

* * *

Vicki wasn’t half-bad for being new at vampire slaying. She was well-practiced at hand-to-hand combat from her day job (now mostly a night job) as a private investigator, and the skills translated rather smoothly to killing vamps. She was especially deft with the sword, swinging it smoothly through the air and easily chopping off several vampires’ heads. She was less capable with the wooden stake; like most new users, she failed to actually hit the heart – her jab was either too weak or off the mark.

Henry was gleeful in his battle, relishing the use of his father’s sword. It felt right in his hands; almost throbbing in the grasp of its rightful heir. Henry grinned, his fangs prominent and his eyes dark with doing battle, after each successful kill.

“I never knew slaying vampires could be so much fun,” he said, taking another undead head.

But Henry’s enthusiasm, like his ego, was not an asset in this battle. It distracted him. He became absorbed in his fight, slashing and taking down vampires – giggling each time they turned to dust. It’s true, he had a vast number of casualties under his belt; he’d bested a large portion of their enemies. But he was too involved in the kill and he did not notice when a gang of three vampires tag-teamed Vicki.

She was doing fine with just the one; she’d missed his heart with the stake, but when she swung back with her sword to chop off his head, two other vampires grabbed each of her arms, knocking the weapon away from her. She tried struggling out of their grasp, but – like all vampires, regardless of specific type – they were extraordinarily strong. Too strong for Vicki to overpower. One bit into her flesh at the base of her neck where it met her shoulder. She howled in pain, as another slashed at her abdomen with the sword he’d stolen from her.

“Henry!”

The cavalier warrior lost his concentration when he heard her voice. His heart had stopped beating ages ago, but the sensation returned when she called his name. An overwhelming sense of dread filled him just from her tone. The sound haunted him instantly. He finished his last kill and spun around.

“No,” he gasped. Vicki was besieged by the team of three vampires – biting her, drinking her blood, cutting her flesh, beating her down. He was fairly certain he heard the sharp crack of breaking bones.

Henry flung himself at the trio, ripping them off of Vicki and tearing them into bits with his bare hands. Vicki didn’t see. Her eyes slipped shut the instant the vampires let her go and she slid to the floor like an autumn leaf.

When Henry had disposed of her attackers, he dropped to her side. “Vicki?” he said, shaking her. But she did not respond.

* * *

Angel walked deliberately towards Mr. Pinstripe and the crone vampire, swinging his sword lazily at his side – ignoring the fighting around him. “Hey fellas,” he said jovially. Like Buffy, he’d developed a taste for wit when going into battle. Or at the least, sarcasm. “Do you guys know who I am?”

Mr. Pinstripe and the crone exchanged a confused look. “My name’s Angel,” he said. The other vampires still seemed lost. They did not recognize the name. “I’m sorry,” Angel said. “You probably know me by my former name … back when I was terrorizing Europe. Back then, people called me Angelus.”

That did it. Both vampires instantly chilled and took a step back. Angelus’ reign of terror frightened even some of the most wicked vampires. The things he’d done still haunted Angel; his actions had made possessing a soul a curse. It was overcoming these things and making amends for them that helped him to become a Champion. Angel had embraced his past, made it part of himself – and used it to overcome. And now, in the sewer below Toronto, two very evil vampires cowered in his presence.

“That’s right,” he said, relishing their terror. He grinned and then attacked. They fought back, but Mr. Pinstripe was a lousy fighter and the crone was old and past his prime, even for a vamp. They were dust.

* * *

“Hey there, remember me?” Buffy said, as she stalked swiftly towards the First. “I’m Buffy. The Vampire Slayer”

The First took a couple steps back, then braced herself for hand-to-hand combat. She remembered Buffy; in fact, the First had been planning revenge for her defeat at the Hellmouth in Sunnydale. The same battle that haunted Buffy’s dreams was also a source of frustration for the First Evil. The hooker bent her knees and held out her arms, her eyes searching for some kind of weapon to use against the Slayer’s scythe.

“You might want to be careful,” Buffy said, eyeing the trashy outfit on her opponent. “I hear vinyl chafes.”

As Buffy lunged forward to make her first blow, the First found what she was looking for: a weapon. She jumped out of the way of the scythe, and grabbed the shard of jagged metal dangling from the vent overhead. She landed behind Buffy, who whirled back on her opponent. The First noticed movement behind Buffy and grinned – but without flinching, Buffy jabbed the pointed wooden tip of her scythe backwards – stabbing the approaching vampire in the heart without even looking. Buffy grinned, pleased with herself, and stepped forward, scythe held high, ready to fight the First without any distractions.

They circled, stepping carefully as if they had rehearsed each movement. Each held their weapon high, gauging the other’s actions. And then, they danced. Buffy lunged forward and the First moved forward to converge, their weapons clashing and clanging loudly in the air between them. A few rusty sparks flew off the meeting metal. The scythe and the broken shard of metal danced, then Buffy spun and kicked the First in the back of her knees. She stumbled forward from the blow and growled. The hooker turned, her lip curled up in a sneer, and tried to throw herself at Buffy, but the Slayer deflected the First easily.

See, the First had not anticipated this … the First was an ancient being, with power as old as the earth. But the First had made a bargain for this resurrection. The First had never died, but it had been forced back into Hell and it wanted to reemerge. And to do so, meant an exchange – a bargain. The deal was that the First could return to Earth in the body of a human – the body, not the form of someone who had died (as in the past, an incorporeal form) – no, this time the First would be inside a body. Trapped with flesh and blood … and mortality. And human weakness. Buffy was the Slayer and, therefore, was physically much more capable.

Buffy grinned when she saw the realization and the following dread pass over the First’s heavily made-up features. “Your lipstick’s smudged,” Buffy said.

The First wiped at the red mussing her lips.

Then Buffy ran forward, kicking her in the gut – throwing the First back against the wall. Buffy beat her down. The First groaned at the impact; at the pain. This was new, this agony – this earthly sensation. When the First was still distracted by the tingling sensation, Buffy jabbed forward with the sharp, dagger end of her scythe – slicing precisely in the First’s abdomen.

Ow, mommy, this mortal wound itches …” Buffy repeated the words the First had taunted her with at the battle in Sunnydale. They were the words that pushed Buffy back to fighting and they were the words that propelled her still. She took a step back, tossing her hair out of her face. She stood, breathing heavily, and watched as the First – battered, bruised and broken – staggered forward. Buffy’s grin had faded and it was replaced with an angry scowl – her eyes fierce. This wasn’t just revenge; this was the end.

“Remember Caleb?” Buffy said, glowering.

“My right hand man …” The First had a longing look in her eyes. She winced in pain as she remembered the misogynistic priest who’d once been a leader in her flock.

“Yeah, well,” Buffy said, hoisting her scythe, “I used this to turn him into julienned preacher. And now –“ Buffy swung the axe end of the scythe upward – catching it between the First’s legs. “—now I’m gonna make julienned First Evil.”

And with another heave, Buffy swung the scythe upward, slicing the First into halves. Before the body could fall, Buffy swung the axe across horizontally – leaving four bloody pieces to fall to the ground.

Buffy breathed, heaving as she held the scythe high still over her shoulder, watching what was left of the First flop onto the floor. Some of the blood had splattered across her face, but she did not notice. Her eyes were wide and her chest rose and fell with each breath. Her heart pounded loudly in her chest. Blood rushed past her ears, drowning out the sound of the others around her. Slowly, as she realized the First was dead – truly dead – she let her arms fall to her side. The scythe slid out of her loosening fingers, clattering loudly on the concrete floor. Buffy began trembling. She fell to her knees, her eyes no longer looking at the First’s remains; no longer looking at anything at all. They seemed vacant and terrified as she stared into an invisible abyss.

Angel approached her slowly, his quarry already dusted. Tentatively, he reached out a hand – and brushed her shoulder. “Buffy?”

His touch had been feather-light, but it was enough. Buffy crumbled into a heap and sobbed.

* * *

Henry sat by Vicki, his hands hovering over her body, not sure what to do. Her breathing was growing more labored. She reached up a bloody hand and clutched at his shirt. Normally, Henry would worry about her blood tempting him … but now, the fear that gripped him was more powerful than any bloodlust. “Vicki?” he said. She panted, her breath heavy and hot on his face.

“Henry …” She gasped as new pain seized her body. Henry saw tears form in her eyes.

He looked around frantically. “Help us!” he said. “Please!”

The others were just realizing that the battle was over – they were surrounded by the dust of former vampires and the quarterly remains of the First incarnate. Buffy was still crumpled in the corner, rocking in Angel’s arms. Edward was tending to Bella’s wounds – though they would not kill her, their presence made him nervous. Willow and Xander were still checking each other over – amazed that neither had much more than scratches to show for the fight.

“Vicki!” Mike ran to her side, as soon as he heard Henry call for help. He limped badly, the gash on his leg throbbing. “Vicki?” He bent over her, pulling her loose hand into his own. Spike was at his heels, but took a step backwards when he saw Vicki’s broken, bleeding body on the ground. He’d been around long enough that he recognized when someone was dying.

“Please, help us,” Mike called, repeating Henry’s words from a moment ago.

“Buffy!” Henry called again.

The others now realized something was wrong and approached.

“Vicki,” Buffy said, snapping out of her shock when she saw the PI lying on the concrete. “What happened?”

“They attacked her – three of them,” Henry said, his voice thick with emotion and unshed sobs. “They bit her, they drank from her … they attacked her. She was helpless, and they attacked her.”

“Oh my god,” Angel whispered, when he saw Vicki’s wounds.

Edward helped Bella to her feet and supported her weight as they, too, joined the crowd around Vicki. When he was close enough to see, Edward stiffened. The sight of Vicki on the floor was disturbingly familiar … her broken, bloody body. She was dying. She coughed up blood, and the sight made Edward cringe.

It was just like how Bella had died.

Bella gasped, not recognizing the resemblance to her own demise. She knelt at Vicki’s feet, ignoring her own wound. She was a vampire; she would heal. Bella’s eyes scanned the damage. She looked up at Willow. “Isn’t there something you can do?”

“What? Me?” Willow said nervously.

“Yes,” Bella insisted. “You’re a witch. Isn’t there some kind of spell – something for healing?”

Willow stuttered, searching for words. “Well, I mean, yes – there are healing spells –“

“Then do something!”

“… but not for something like this,” Willow continued. “Not for … I can’t heal mortal wounds.”

“No,” Bella said, her voice just a wisp on the air. Her hand came up to her mouth and she shook her head, tears filling her eyes. “No,” she said again; as if repeating it would make it true; as if the denial would negate the damage.

“Isn’t there anything you can do?” Henry sobbed, angry and grieving. On the other side of Vicki, Mike wept.

The others were silent.

“Please, something,” Henry begged. “Anything?”

Spike spoke up first, his voice low, like gravel. “There is something … one of us can do.” He looked pointedly at Edward, then glanced at Bella, and then back at Edward.

Edward quickly realized what Spike was suggesting; he heard the vampire’s thoughts. He was shocked. It was bad enough what he’d done to Bella … but he’d loved her; he did what he had to in order to keep her by her side. His actions then had been largely selfish and he still had to live with the guilt he felt. He would not curse another human being. He just couldn’t.

“It would work,” Spike said, sensing the reason behind Edward’s reticence. “You know it would.” He looked again at Bella pointedly.

Bella realized what Spike was suggesting and gasped, but not in horror. She turned to Edward, clutching his arm wildly. “Edward, you can save her.” He shook his head silently. “You have to.”

“It’s not saving her,” he said. He turned his vacant eyes down to meet her gaze and instantly, his features warmed – but his resolve did not waver. “I do not regret having you here by my side everyday. But each time I look at you, I regret what I did to you; what I made you. I killed you, Bella. I took away your humanity; I made your heart stop beating.”

“Edward,” she said, shushing him. “My heart never truly beat until it was with you. And you may not hear it …” She clutched his cheek, pulling his face low to meet her own. “But it beats still for you, even in death. Even in immortality.” She leaned up and kissed him – sweetly, softly. “I love you,” she said. “Now fix this.”

Bella held his gaze intensely for another long moment, before she let him turn back to Vicki’s dying form. . Cautiously, he stepped forward.

Mike still sat to her one side, clutching her hand and sobbing. He murmured words of regret, of love, of the past … he murmured the words of a man to the woman he loved, dying in his arms. On the other side, Henry rocked and moaned. Edward stepped past him, pushing him aside, and knelt by Vicki’s face. He held her other hand tightly in his and touched her face, so she could see him there.

“You know what I can do for you,” he said. “I just need to know if it’s what you want.” He bent low and whispered in her ear so that only she could hear his words. She coughed as more blood filled her mouth, but she listened attentively – holding on with the last vestiges of life. “It can only be me,” Edward said, whispering the reasons – ticking them off like a checklist. He explained everything, each detail – letting her know what would come; what to expect.

Beside him, Vicki nodded. She could not force the words from her lips, but Edward could hear her thoughts give assent. “This will hurt,” he shushed into her ear. “But then it will stop.” He brushed back her hair from her face and looked up sadly at Mike. “I’m sorry for your loss,” he said, then bent low and bit Vicki’s neck.



* * *